Adsorption of copper metal ion from aqueous solution by nanoscale zero valent iron (nZVI) supported on activated carbon

Kubra Altuntas, Eyup Debik, Duyguhan Kozal, Ilkiz Irem Yoruk


Copper is from one of the most important heavy metals, which adheres to the ecological system by harmful human activities. It is toxic, persistent, and non-biodegradable metal, which causes environmental pollution in both the atmosphere and aquatic environment. Copper pollution found in undesirable concentrations in industrial wastewaters especially from electronics industries, cooling systems and plating industry. Physical methods are mostly applied to remove Cu(II) including adsorption and membrane processes. Nanoparticles (e.g. nano zero valent iron (nZVI), carbon nanotubes, titanium dioxide nanoparticle) have been considered to be promising alternatives to conventional adsorbents. They have advantages by having more surface area and nano-sized pores, which helps to adsorb more molecules. In this study, in order to enhance adsorption by activated carbon and lower the cost of nanoparticle synthesis, nZVI is synthesized on activated carbon(AC-nZVI). It was investigated for its effectiveness in copper removal from aqueous solution. The effect of AC-nZVI dosage, pH and the initial concentration of Cu were investigated. Adsorption capacities are obtained for nZVI and AC-nZVI as 414 mg/g and 510 mg/g, respectively. 200mg/L AC-nZVI concentration was determined as sufficient for %96 removal rate. Langmuir isotherm gave the best fit and the maximum adsorption capacity according to Langmuir isotherm is calculated as 588,24 mg/g.


Adsorption; Nano-Zero Valent Iron (nZVI); Activated Carbon; Copper Removal

Full Text:



Kurniawana T. A., Sillanpääa M. E., Sillanpää M., “Nano–Adsorbents For Remediation of Aquatic Environment: Local and Practical Solutions For Global Water Pollution Problems” Crit. Rev. Env. Sci. Technol., 42(2011) 1233-1295.

Pradeep T., Anshup, “Nobel Metal Nanoparticles For Water Purification: A Critical Review” Thin Solid Films, 517 (2009) 6441-6478.

Ulucan, K., Noberi, C., Coşkun, T., Üstündağ, C. B., Debik, E., & Kaya, C. “Disinfection By-Products Removal by Nanoparticles Sintered in Zeolite” Journal of Clean Energy Technologies, 2013; 1(2): 120-123.

Lin L., Xu X., CharalambosPapelis, Tzahi Y. Cath, Pei Xu. “Sorption of metals and metalloids from reverse osmosis concentrate on drinking water treatment solids” Sep. Purif. Technol. 2014; 134:37–45

Demiral H., Güngör C. “Adsorption of copper(II) from aqueous solutions on activated carbon prepared from grape bagasse” J. Clean. Prod. 2016. 124:103–113

Kabuk H.A., Avsar Y., Ilhan F., Ulucan K. “Comparison of pH Adjustment and Electrocoagulation Processes on Treatability of Metal Plating Wastewater” Separ. Sci. and Technol. 2014. 49:613-618

Kuzu S. L., Saral A., Demir S., Summak G., Demir G. “A detailed investigation of ambient aerosol composition and size distribution in an urban atmosphere” Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 2013. 20:2556–2568

Papas B. N., Whitten J. L. “Adsorption of copper on a γ-alumina support” Surface Science. 2016; 651:22–27

Eom, T.H.; Lee, C.H.; Kim, J.H.; Lee, C-H. “Development of an ion exchange system for plating wastewater treatment” Desalin. 2005. 180: 163–172.

Elcik H., Celik S. O., Cakmakci M., Ozkaya B. “Performance of nanofiltration and reverseosmosis membranes for arsenic removal from drinking water” Desalin. Water. Treat. 2016; DOI: 10.1080/19443994.2015.1111812

Varank, G., Demir, A., Bilgili, M., Top, S., Sekman, E., Yazıcı, S., Erkan, H. S. “Equilibrium and kinetic studies on the removal of heavy metal ions by natural low-cost adsorbents” Environ. Prot. Eng. 2014; 40(3): 43-61.

Beyazit N. “Copper(II), Chromium(VI) and Nickel(II) Removal from Metal Plating Effluent by Electrocoagulation” Int. J. Electrochem. Sci. 2014; 9:4315 – 4330

Zhu H.J.., Jia Y.F., Wu X., Wang H. “Removal of arsenic from water by supported nano zero-valent iron on activated carbon” J. Hazard. Mater. 2009, 172:1591-1596.

Shi L.N., Zhang X., Zhen Z.L.. “Removal of Chromium (VI) from wastewater using bentonite-supported nanoscale zero-valent iron” Water Res. 2011, 45: 886-892.

Geng B., Jin Z., Li T., Qi X. “Kinetics of hexavalent chromium removal from water by chitosan-Fe-0 nanoparticles” Chemosphere, 2009, 75: 825-830.

Kakavandi, B, Kalantary RR, Farzadkia M., Mahvi A.H., Esrafili A., Azari A., Yari A.R., Javid A.B. “Enhanced chromium (VI) removal using activated carbon modified by zero valent iron and silver bimetallic nanoparticles”

J. Environ. Health Sci. Eng. 12:115, 2014

Fouladgar M., Beheshti M., Sabzyan H. “Single and binary adsorption of nickel and copper from aqueous solutions by γ-alumina nanoparticles: Equilibrium and kinetic modeling” J. Mol. Liq. 2015. 211:1060-1073

Kobya M., Demirbas E., Senturk E. , Ince M. “Adsorption of heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions by activated carbon prepared from apricot stone” Biosource Technol. 2005. 36(13):1518-1521

Imamoglu M., Tekir O. “Removal of copper (II) and lead (II) ions from aqueous solutions by adsorption on activated carbon from a new precursor hazelnut husks” Desalin. 2008; 228:1-3:108-113



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Periodicals of Engineering and Natural Sciences (PEN)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN: 2303-4521

Digital Object Identifier DOI: 10.21533/pen

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License